Oklahoma's secretary of education hates library cards
Book-banning, an Alaska Democrat heading to Congress, Trump in disarray, Michigan Republicans' anti-democracy and anti-abortion move, and a Georgia reminder.
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I’m working on a project this week, so this morning’s newsletter is a little short and a bit all over — but I think it hits on some important points.
So, let’s go.
BOOK BANNING: The retrograde, frightening effort to ban books took a hit in Virginia, as a judge dismissed a case earlier this week seeking to have two books declared “obscene.”
But, across the country, Oklahoma Secretary of Education Ryan Walters wants a teacher to have her teaching license revoked because she encouraged students to read books. He wrote, in effect, that giving students a library card is the same thing as giving them pornography.
(She’s right. Students should read any books they want to read.)
Here’s a report on all of this from the OU Daily, because I support student journalists, too.
Do not miss the fact that while Walters is reprimanding the teacher for, what he calls, “a liberal political agenda,” he’s the politician.
Walters is on the ballot this fall. He is running to be the state’s superintendent of education, on a platform — in his own words — of opposing CRT, supporting “school choice,” and opposing trans children being able to play sports. His general election opponent is the state’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, Jena Nelson.
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ALASKA: A Democrat will be taking former Alaska Rep. Don Young’s seat in the House.
Mary Peltola won the special election for the seat Young had held from 1973 until his death earlier this year.
She’ll have to win the general election to keep the seat in 2023, but the victory is another sign that Democrats today aren’t in the position it appeared they would be in for the midterm elections.
TRUMP’S IRON GRIP: Republicans, meanwhile, are so beholden to former President Donald Trump that they’re going on TV embarrassing themselves to defend the guy who the Justice Department says had hundreds of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago for a year or longer after leaving the White House.
This followed the Justice Department’s Tuesday night response to Trump’s effort to get a special master appointed to review questions about the materials seized in the Aug. 8 Mar-a-Lago search. In short, they say a special master is not appropriate here, but, if so, their scope and timeline should be limited. (Here’s my Twitter thread of the response.)
Trump’s lawyers replied on Wednesday night, and a hearing is set for 1 p.m. today before US District Judge Aileen Cannon.
MICHIGAN: There are some really concerning, anti-democratic happenings in Michigan, where the Republicans on the Board of State Canvassers refused on Wednesday to allow an abortion ballot measure to go on the fall ballot — despite proponents having secured well over the required number of signatures.
The matter goes to court now, and still could end up on the ballot, but, as Daniel Nichanian noted, the Michigan Supreme Court majority is itself on the ballot this fall — with two justices up for election and the 4-3 Democratic majority hanging in the balance.
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GEORGIA: Finally, this. (Care of Brian Baez.) [UPDATE: Here’s the clip in the context of the full 2018 gubernatorial debate. Brian Kemp, now governor, and Stacey Abrams will be facing each other again in a rematch this November.]